- Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
- Area(s) of Law: Post-Conviction Relief
- Date Filed: 08-10-2022
- Case #: A178127
- Judge(s)/Court Below: James, P.J. for the Court; Aoyagi, J.; & Pagán, J.
- Full Text Opinion
Relators appealed 1,000 grants of clemency. Relators assigned error to the procedure used for the grants of clemency and to the substance of the some of the commutations. Relators argued that ORS 144.650 requires the Governor to submit an application and gather input from the victims and district attorneys before granting clemency. Relators also argued that the Governor improperly delegated the clemency power to the Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision (BOPPS) by allowing BOPPS to hold hearings for the juveniles. The Governor filed a cross-appeal, arguing the court erred when it held BOPPS did not have jurisdiction over the hearings. Under ORS 144.650, “[w]hen an application for a pardon, commutation, or remission is made to the Governor, a copy of the application . . . shall be served upon: (a) [t]he district attorney . . . [and] the district attorney . . . shall (a) [n]otify the victim of the crime.” The Court reasoned ORS 144.650 only applies when an application for clemency has been submitted, not when the Governor initiates the proceedings. Therefore, the Court held that the statute did not apply here. In regard to the Governor’s clemency power, the Court reasoned that this includes the ability to change the conditions of a sentence, and because the Governor changed the juvenile’s sentences to make them eligible for BOPPS hearings. BOPPS does have jurisdiction and commutations were lawful. Reversed on appeal; affirmed on cross-appeal.